Mathieu Boogaerts

May 17, 2005By Heidi EllisonWhat's New Art & Culture

Minimalist Mathieu

Mathieu Boogaerts, a song stylist with minimalist charm.

Singer/songwriter/musician Mathieu Boogaerts’ new album, Michel (Tôt ou Tard), is deceptively simple and quietly seductive. His quirky singing style is sometimes reminiscent of that of Vincent Delerm, but Boogaerts is his own man. His songs are stripped down to the minimum, with his fragile yet appealing voice accompanied only by a guitar or piano here, drums there, backup voices or maybe a whistle.

His lyrics, by turns witty, silly, philosophical and cynical, might speak of the simple joys of life like receiving a postcard from a friend (“Une Bonne Nouvelle”), lost love (“Pardonne”) or a salacious tour of the world (“Siliguri”). “J’sais pas où t’es parti” seems to be about a reformed stalker.

Boogaerts, who finds being French “suffocating”, likes to travel. In “Keyorknew,” about a hoped-for trip to New York, he speaks his own charming version of franglais (“Mais carefulbe/C’est comme ça qu’on m’a dit”). In fact, he’s a charmer all around.

Although this is his fourth album, the 35-year-old Boogaerts, who began composing while in his teens, still gives the impression of youthful insouciance. It will be interesting to watch his development.

Boogaerts will perform at the Elysée Montmartre on December 1.

Elysée Montmartre: 72 bd Rochechouart 75018 Paris. Tel.: 01 44 92 45 36 .

Heidi Ellison

© 2005 Paris Update

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